Active subwoofers are an easy way of extending the bass response of your sound system to bring out kicks, basslines and other low frequency sounds in your live PA mix.
An active subwoofer is powered, eliminating the need from an amplifier and therefore less equipment for the end-user; simply plug your mixer directly into the sub. Typically, active subwoofers have the ability to process the audio, often having built-in crossovers that split frequencies between your speakers improving the efficiency of each.
The frequency response of active subs can span over 30 Hz to 300 Hz with some models being able to adjust a low-pass filter or crossover frequency to tailor the sound to your needs. The size ranges from 12” woofers for smaller, more portable set-ups with 18” and 21” subwoofers providing a lower frequency response and a deeper sound.
Passive subwoofers play bass frequencies spanning from around 30 Hz to 300 Hz and are powered by PA amplifiers. PA speakers may struggle when playing the full range at high volumes and subwoofers help to project a deeper low-end sound.
Their sizes range from 12” for smaller venues to 15”, 18” and even 21” when playing at larger venues and more demanding genres of music. A lot of passive subwoofers have a built-in crossover, meaning PA speakers can be linked and can be used more efficiently as they are only playing mid and high range frequencies. To deliver ground-shaking bass to your audience, shop at PMT.